Before moving to Canada, I had four magic words that were guaranteed to save me at least 50% on professional medical care. One time, it saved me at least 99%!
If I had to see my regular physician, she would complete the visit, then come a bit closer, and say, “This is cash, right?” Then she’d tear up the paperwork and go to the sample closet and give me drugs. I don’t know if she was defrauding her medical partners and staff in the process, but it was welcome. I typically paid $50 a visit, and had no idea what that was worth until my brother went to the same doctor, but “through the system.” Six months later, he was still trying to extract the cost of the $150 visit from his insurance company.
I was flat on my back for ten weeks in 2002 — it took that long to see a “specialist.” (And they say Canadian health care is slow! I can make a call in the morning and see my doctor in the afternoon.)
When I finally saw a “specialist,” she examined me, left me lying on a cold tile floor with my butt hanging out of the medical gown for nearly an hour because I couldn’t sit without excruciating pain, then finally came back with a joyous look on her face, and said, “We think you’re an excellent candidate for surgery!”
I then used my four magic words: “I don’t have insurance.”
“Well, we can try something more conservative first.” She put me on pregnazone (anabolic steroid) and in less than a week, I was sitting, standing, walking, without no back pain. Whatever happened to “First, do no harm?”
So $50 worth of pills saved me perhaps $5,000 in surgery — not to mention an additional ten weeks of disability during recovery.
Americans are so naive. They thump their chest and say “WE’RE NUMBER ONE!” claiming the best health care in the world. American health care is a FRAUD, fully available only to those with lots of money or lots of patience.